Executive Summary: Your small business website is the most critical marketing tool you have today. If yours is lousy, you are losing business.
Let’s face it; if you own a local business and haven’t put time and effort into your website recently, your website probably is an inadequate representation of your business. Worse yet, you might be in trouble when it comes to earning new business.
Stop for a moment and think. You are home one day, and you decide you need to make a purchase or find a local business to perform a service. You pull in the driveway after work and discover that your septic tank is overflowing on the front lawn. You need a septic company out here fast. You have never called a septic company. What do you do?
Twenty years ago, you would walk inside and look-up your options in the phone book. Today, you take your phone and Google something like: “Septic repair near me.” Perhaps 5 company names come up on your search that is reasonably close. 3 are in the magic section marketing people the “Google 3-Pack“ or the 3 businesses that appear on top and have good reviews and a map location.
You click on the webpage of the first one – but the page loads slowly. There is little readable information. If you are using your phone to check out their site (like more than 50% do nowadays), many local business websites weren’t designed for these devices and look horrible.
You move on to the second. Another company with a lousy website! The site doesn’t explain whether the company does emergency repairs.
Your small business website is a crucial part of your marketing.
A Great Website
When you start to feel frustrated, the last link you selected takes you to a bright, well-designed website that explains precisely the services you need, and what steps you need to make to get that company out to your home fast.
How Does Your Website Rank?
Now do the same type of search – but put yourself in one of your company’s prospective customers’ shoes. Where does your website score in this test?
If your company isn’t coming up first on web searches and isn’t allowing customers to see what you are all about, you need to start over and create a web presence that leads new business to you, not your competitor.
Critical Marketing Tool
A good, effective, well-designed website is perhaps the most critical piece in marketing any business type in this day and age.
You may think that your business comes from other sources, such as referrals. They may even tell you that. But the truth is, most people will not call a new company, even if they receive a referral from a trusted source without first checking out their website.
Think about it. Would you go on a blind date without checking out their profile on social media? That is precisely what is happening when someone seeks your business out.
Elements to Great Website
Everything that you need in a great, effective website is beyond the scope of this article. But it needs to be fresh, functional & informative. People expect good pictures, video, and it had better load fast and look good on their smartphone. If not, they will move on to the next site.
Donald Miller, who wrote the book Building a Story Brand, believes that there are 7 elements to an excellent website. Think Street employs those principals in our website designs.
The 15 Second Rule
Google estimates that a new customer will spend less than 15 seconds looking at your website before moving on — unless you give them a reason to stay and dig deeper. You need a website that does that – and more.
I believe your website needs to serve as a digital hub for essential information so that it positions you as the area’s expert in your field. To do this, it takes effort. But it also requires working with someone who knows how to make this happen. That is where Think Street comes in.
Think Street was built from the ground up to help local businesses compete and win in today’s environment.
We get that mall business owners are completely confused about how to best market their company. Think Street delivers a simple, focused, step-by-step strategy that gets results. If you are ready, give us a call today.
Note: This is the 4th step in an extremely successful 8-step strategy to marketing small businesses we have developed at Think Street. It doesn’t matter if you are a 40-year-old business with 100 employees or an Etsy shop that you run out of your spare bedroom – the steps and methods are the same. You can download this for free by clicking here.